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5 Ways to Get the Most out of your Packshots


Join Cape Town Product Photographer and Author of the Getaway Magazine Photography Masterclass on her photographic adventures in and out of the studio. 

5 Ways to Get the Most out of your Packshots

Robyn Daly

Content costs money, whether it’s packshot photography, blogs, social media posts, lifestyle shoots…. The trick to making that spend really work for your business is to sweat the assets. Make them work harder so you get more bang for your buck. Some of this is pretty obvious. A lifestyle shoot will give you photos to leverage on your website, emailers, social media, print campaigns, banner ads and more. But a packshot? To many, packshots are a bit of a grudge purchase — you have to have them for ecommerce. And so often brands go out and find the cheapest they can — justifying it by saying “Oh it’s only going to be used tiny anyway”

NOT! Packshots are one of your most valuable marketing assets. And if you think creatively, that small outlay per product image can offer a big return in content for your marketing material. Here are some ways to use your packshot images — beyond the beauty shot.

  1. Feature packshots on social

Carousels are your secret weapon. People love them. They’re a bit of a pain to create but they do get a higher click-through rate than static posts. In fact click through, according to data collected by Kinetic Social, is up to 10x higher. Create mini collections and place them in carousels on your Facebook Page. you can run them as boosted posts from your page, or for even more potential reach through Audience Network, as campaigns launched from your FB campaign manager.

2. Add packshots to your mailers

Email marketing is still one of the most affordable marketing tactics there is. Even though we love to complain about our own email clutter, people DO look out for and respond to promotional mailers, provided they answer that burning customer desire: “What’s in it for me?”

Even if you don’t have a vast collection of beautiful lifestyle images, you can still do email marketing to your customer base using packshots in enticing ways. See the cactus bunting image in the Fancy Parties emailer — it’s a straightforward packshot given new life with a bit of subtle design pizzazz. There are so many fun things to do. And the design hours for your emailer can be used effectively if you also design them in a variety of sizes for the likes of Facebook covers and banner ads. Sweating those assets again.

Remember to always include obvious calls to action such as “Buy Now” that links to the product or collection on your website. Digital marketing works well when customers don’t have to think too hard or jump through hoops. So KISS — Keep it Simple Stupid.

3. Turn your packshot images into a video

Make the most of your packshots by grouping similar products into a gif-style video to showcase range. This is perfect for social media content and we all know that video gets higher engagement than static content. This one below was shot for client Hats Off to showcase the new summer range. It’s all about making the most of what you’ve got.

4. Change up your Insta feed with packshots

A Content Marketing Benchmarks & Trends survey that I pioneered as Content Director at Narrative, revealed that the single-biggest challenge content marketers face is generating enough content for all their marketing tactics. This survey included small, privately-owned businesses as well as Blue Chip companies. Across the board, it’s a challenge to feed the content-hungry beasts. Instagram and Facebook need regular posting, at least 3 times a week. So get creative with your packshots and intersperse them in your feed. You can then use them as an opportunity to offer more product info, inspiration or a product-related tip in the post copy. I love how hat designer and milliner Chrystal Birch has used my product images, interspersed with user-generated content and candid images from various other sources to give it realness.

5. Add backgrounds to your packshots

You can change up your packshots for different uses by simply changing the background. All you need to do is instruct your photographer to supply a high res Tiff file with the clipping path. This is the outline that is created around the product when it is being cut out (deep etched) and dropped onto the clean 100% white background you need for most ecommerce sites. Not all photographers follow this process as it’s more time consuming than many other ways of cutting out. And if they do, they usually charge extra for it. I don’t. It comes standard with all my packshots. The clipping path means that you can knock out the white background with the touch of a button in Photoshop and replace it with anything else, including background images which you can purchase cheaply from stock libraries.

TIP: If this is something you think you might want to do, be sure to tell your photographer beforehand, as it could influence the method used for post production. Should it cost you more? Most photographers do charge for this service.

Invest in your success

If shot by a professional in a controlled setting with quality equipment, all your packshot photos will be suitable for use on your online store and marketplace sites, in brochures, as website banners, print adverts and as social media content and ads. Investing in good photography is investing in your business.


Robyn Daly is an award-winning photographer, journalist and editor with 23 years experience photographing in the print media, content marketing and advertising industries. She has a particular passion for product photography and ecommerce marketing.

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Update your photos now

For all your ecommerce photography needs, contact Robyn Daly on 083-779-0783. Images are shot in a fully equipped professional studio in Cape Town with high quality studio lighting and professional camera equipment as well as photo-editing tools. Give your products the images they deserve and your customers more reasons to buy from you.